Nutrition is an area in health and fitness where new discussions are being made all the time.

Your body’s fuel

Healthy eating and the whole broad concept of nutrition is a vast field and of endless fascination and importance to human conditioning and performance.

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Physical activity needs a constant supply of fuel and food and nutritional properties are important to optimise performance.

This is especially important to competitive athletes and people who train intensively and with heavy loads or long endurance athletes. At elite levels the vital differences and the gaps between success and failure, winning or losing are often down to tiny fractions and percentages. And nutrition is where those percentages can be so easily made and lost.

Good nutritional planning and preparation mean the difference between winning and losing and preventing illness and injury.

Misinterpretation and misleading nutritional information can lead to confusion and poor nutritional practice

As a sports and exercise nutritional advisor it is important to provide up to date accurate scientifically proven nutritional & dietary advice .

Healthy eating involves choosing the right types of foods and the right balance of nutrients and energy to maintain optimal health.

For a typical healthy adult it would be beneficial to follow the government backed healthy eat well plate guidelines of eating plenty of starchy foods, eating lots of fruit & vegetables ( no less than 5 portions per day), eating plenty of fibre, at lease 2 portions of fish per week including one of oily fish and also cutting down on saturated fats and sugars in foods.

It also recommends cutting down on salt intake in the diet (no more than 6 grams per day for a healthy adult) and maintaining a healthy body weight and drinking plenty of water and fluids.

nutrition for sports performance_2Sports performance concept of Nutrition:

And it’s not all about what nutrition does for the actual performance of the sports person. Good nutrition is especially important in recovery from exercise between training sessions.

The body adapts to the demands of training intensity and volume, so all sports people must ensure their diet meets demands on their body.

Athletes are required to peak and taper for competitive sport and training and competition programs can change on a daily basis.

So timing of meals is especially important as well as energy and nutrient requirements and also weight management is important for most sports .

General recommendations for a sports athlete:

– Ensure diet meets demands placed on it.

– Plan well in advance and fit meals and snacks around training and work schedule.

– Recognise rest days and the importance of replenishing nutrients and energy for fuel pre post and during exercise.

– Stay within government national standard food guidelines for recommended nutrient values.

In conclusion, whether eating for health and /or sports performance it is important to obtain nutrients and fluid and energy requirements from a healthy varied and balanced diet.

These will be derived preferably from fresh, natural , organic /chemical and preservative free sources as possible to enhance health benefits and sporting performance and prevent illness and injury.

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